For hardcore theatre queens, gay divorce is a Cole Porter musical and not something you can even wrap your brain around existing in another context. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, the reality of marriage equality is its yang to the ying: with marriage also comes divorce. Since same-sex marriage is still relatively new, there isn’t a whole lot of information available for going through a gay divorce. A break-up or separation of any couple is already difficult to deal with, but when it comes to queer matrimony ending, there hasn’t previously been sufficient enough of a guide to steer parting pairs in the right direction. Until now. If you are going through a gay divorce, you might need a bit of advice to progress as drama and stress free as possible.
First things first: how is your relationship? If you are fighting a lot and or are unable to come to compromises and agreements, it’s probably time for both of you to look into counselling. You’ve got a lot of pent up hostility, frustrations, anger, sadness, etc. that are disabling you from working together as adults to end your relationship peacefully.
Sometimes, however, things cannot me dealt with between the two of you. In this case, it’s time to consider getting a mediator. Try to remain as professional, polite, and respectful to yourself and your ex. It will make everything so much easier if you both are civil to one another.
Both of you need to set a deadline for obtaining lawyers and officially obtaining the divorce. Aspire to a timeline to split assets, divide households, and decide living arrangements. Don’t share a lawyer; you want your team assembled that will have your best interests at heart. Not someone whose allegiance is split because they are representing both of you.
Start making some lists. Each of you needs to make a list of things that each of you brought into the relationship, including pets. These items should not be divided between the two of you as these were items you had previously before you wed. Make a list of things you absolutely must have and a separate one for items you’re willing to let go of. Think up which pieces are negotiable to give you an advantage for the items you must have. But always keep in mind: they are just possessions, for the most part.
For inconsistencies and items you have no idea how to split between the two of you that you both acquired together in your relationship, consider hiring a mediator and appraiser. Or one for each of you. For living arrangements, you’re both going your separate ways and liquidating any home you made together.
Do your research! Read up as much as you can about joint assets, divorce, gay divorce, taxes, and costs so that you know how to best protect yourself from getting screwed over. A great place to look? Women’s magazines. Periodicals like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, etc. almost always have editorials and write-ins from recently separated individuals or women going through divorce. You’d be surprised at how many take seats you can find in a lady’s magazine.
Lastly, remember to act and behave so that you can walk away with your head held high. So, you guys didn’t work out and your gay marriage ended in gay divorce. So what? Life goes on. There are other people out there, and there is so much more to life than fighting over the small stuff with your ex. The sooner you can let go and move on, the sooner you’ll be able to begin your next chapter of your life.